President Uhuru Kenyatta may be well on his way to make his first success at fighting corruption if the case against Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu is anything to go by.
Waititu, who is technically out of office, has irredeemably fallen out with the President after he was implicated in a Sh588 million corruption case where he is alleged to have pocketed Sh50 million.
The embattled Governor has been treated to a string of embarrassing situations, with the latest being kicked out of Mashujaa Day celebrations in Mombasa.
This followed an incident where Waititu was whisked away from the VIP podium when President Kenyatta presided over the unveiling of Ongata-Rongai Standard Gauge Railway Station in Suswa.
In the SGR function, Waititu had connivingly taken a seat assigned to Mombasa Women Rep Asha Hussein when security officials whispered in his ear to vacate the seat or be forced out.
In a covert gesture, Waititu would fake a phone call and walk away but he stayed around the function. He would even be denied a photo opportunity with Kenyatta even as Governors Ole Lenku, Alfred Mutua and Lee Kinyanjui freely mingled with the President.
A security source told Nation newspaper that orders had been enforced to ensure no public officials facing corruption charges or with active cases are allowed anywhere close to the President.
Months after Governor Waititu was barred from accessing the county offices, a group of Kiambu County MCAs would be barred after requesting to be enjoined in the case against the Governor.
In his ruling, Milimani Law Courts Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi stated that the MCAs’ role ends in the County assemblies and overseeing court cases was beyond their purview.
Mugambi added that the MCAs would only delay the judicial process against the embattled Governor
“As pointed out by Mr Kamau, some of the applicants are busybodies whose participation in the trial will elongate it without adding any value,” read Mugambi’s verdict in part.
The case against Waititu seems to have taken a fresh twist, with his attempts to reach the President being repeatedly thwarted.
In their submission to the court, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions revealed an intricate web of fraud in which Waititu and his wife’s companies directly received kickbacks from the irregularly awarded road tenders.
Chances are the Governor and his wife Susan Ndung’u may be dealt a major blow should the courts find them guilty of conflict of interest, abuse of office, dealing with suspect property and willful non-compliance to procurement regulations.
Waititu has been a major opponent of President Kenyatta’s handshake with Opposition leader Raila Odinga. He has in several instances poured cold water on the duo’s much-anticipated Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report.